When one thinks of ReadyLIFT, one usually thinks of lift and leveling kits for 4WD trucks. After all, LIFT is right there in their name. But did you know that they also produce long travel suspension systems for certain 2WD trucks?
For those looking to drastically increase wheel travel of their Chevy/GMC pickups, here’s the ReadyLIFT Chevy Silverado 1500 2WD Long Travel Performance Front Suspension System. This system will give the 1500 a total of 13+ inches of travel up front and add 4-inches to its width per side. A bolt on affair, the Long Travel system uses control arms that are made from 3/16-inch boxed, MIG welded steel plate and feature FK Heim Bearing Joints and Uniball Joints and Stainless Steel misalignment spacers
The owner of this 2009 knew that. He just bought the truck, and wanted to build the pre-runner of his dreams, so he had ReadlyLIFT install their Long Travel Kit to the front and ReadyLIFT’s OffRoad Rear Bed Cage too. The cage is tube steel and not only provides upper shock mounts it strengthens and supports the rear frame section while upping the rear wheel travel to a whopping 16-inches. Exactly what you want when bashing around in the dirt. Since the shocks now go from the cage and down through the bed to the ReadyLIFT OffRoad Rear Lower Mounts (with intergraded bump pad) it takes a long shock, so 16-inch Fox 2.5 Factory Series 3 Tube Bypass Piggyback Reservoir Shock was chosen.
And he’s serous about dirt bashing, so he also added a set of Deaver leaf springs that added 4-inches of height and way better action than the stock springs. Deaver’s are the way to go when using leafs. A ReadyLIFT shackle is used to attach the Deaver’s to the truck.
Wanting to use all of the travel that will now be available, a ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension GM 1500 2WD/4WD Bolt-On Hydraulic Air Bump Stop Frame Kit was installed. It’s designed to integrate into the rear cage and a Fox 2.0 Off Road Series Nitrogen Gas Bump Stop was installed.
Since the front track width is now wider than stock, and that he wanted to go with 35-inch tires, the owner installed a set of Fiberwerx front and rear fenders that have a 4.5-inch “bulge” to them. The wheels and tires in question are Ultra Wheels 17x9 103 Series Beadlock wheels that have been shod with Nitto EXO Grappler (35x12.50 R17) tires.
This Chevy was turning out to be a very capable off-road rig, but the owner also knew that going fast in the dirt sometimes requires capable brakes. That’s why he replaced with stock brakes with EBC GD drilled and slotted rotors that are clamped with EBC Orangestuff full race pads.
That’s a lot of parts, but most of them bolt on. There is some cutting involved with adding the suspension pieces, but nothing that you can’t do at your home garage. Know that this is an install that anyone with a modicum of mechanical knowledge can do themselves. ReadyLIFT also supplies detailed instruction sheets to make the job even that much easier.
The result of all these parts is that the Chevy is now totally equipped for some serious off-roading. It has the suspension travel and action, somewhere for those larger wheels to go and better braking for when it’s time to slow down. And yeah, it looks pretty good too.
So follow along as this Chevy gets serious about dirt driving and discover that ReadyLIFT is more than just lift kits.
ReadyLIFT supplies everything needed to drastically increase the wheel travel of the front suspension.
This Chevy Silverado was picked up for a song, doesn’t have too many miles on it, and with the crew cab is the perfect vehicle to build into an off road-ready hauler.
With the truck up on a lift, the plastic wheel well liner, brake assembly and spindle have been removed and the stock strut is pulled.
The last of the stock parts, the A-arms, are removed.
To give the new control arms room to move, the stock droop limiter needs to be removed. It is first marked.
Using a cutting blade equipped angle grinder, the limiter is removed.
Sections of the upper bucket need to go too, so they are marked and cut. All cut sections will be ground smooth and painted.
A few drops of Loctite is applied to the rack adaptor fitting before it’s installed into the steering rack. Note that the threads of the rack were carefully cleaned prior to the adaptor being installed.
The adaptor in place and tightened as tight as possible.
Loctite is also applied to the bolt holding the clevis to the adaptor as well as to the area where the clevis and adaptor mate. A large Crescent wrench is used so that the clevis is horizontal when tight.
With the bushings lubed and installed into the ReadyLIFT lower control arm, anti-seize is applied to the face of the bushing. This will keep squeaking to a minimum and anti-seize isn’t as affected by water as grease is.
The boxed ReadyLIFT lower control arm is installed and torqued down. Made from 3/16-inch thick steel plate and featuring FK uniball joints, the upper and lower control arms are MIG welded and then powder coated.
Boasting a remote reservoir, the Fox 2.5 coil-over shock is installed. The reservoir will be mounted to a mount that attaches to the top of the shocks mounting hardware.
The boxed ReadyLIFT upper control arm is installed. They too feature FK Heim ball bearing and Uniball joints, MIG wended 3/16-inch mild steel plate and powder coating.
Since this is a used truck, there was rusting between the stock hub and spindle. To get a good fit with the new ReadyLIFT upright, this rust is removed with a wire brush-equipped bench grinder.
The box formed steel uprights feature internal bracing and CNC machined steel mounting plates for precise fitment with the stock spindle hub assembly. The upright uses an FK Uniball at the upper arm mounting location.
Trimming is required to get the stock rubber boot to fit over the new ReadyLIFT tie rods. Made from CNC machined 7075 aluminum and equipped with FK Heim joints, the units are longer and way beefier than stock.
And there you have it. Giving the Chevy a full 13-inches of wheel travel and a 4-inch wider footprint, the Ready Lift Long Travel system is on and ready. Note that the stock brakes have been replaced with EBC slotted and drilled GD Sport Rotors and EBC Orangestuff brake pads and longer than stock ReadyLIFT braided steel brake lines.
This new ReadyLIFT OffRoad Rear Bed Cage is specifically made for the 2007-14 Chevy Silverado 1500 truck with 5.5 foot bed. It’s constructed of powdercoated and laser notched tube steel. Here, it’s aided with the addition of a set of Deaver leaf springs and again, Fox shocks. This time though they are 2.5 x 16-inch triple bypass units.
Though capable for everyday use, the stock Chevy reared suspension system leaves much to be desired when pushed hard off-road.
To remove the stock leaf spring without the need to completely remove the fuel tank, the mounting bolt is cut as close as possible, the tank hardware is removed, but the there is just room to get the bolt out. New hardware is needed.
It takes two to lift the Deaver spring into place. Note that a ReadyLIFT OffRoad 1500 Rear Shackle Kit has been installed to the trailing edge of the Deaver spring.
The base plate for the ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension GM 1500 2WD/4WD Bolt-On Hydraulic Air Bump Stop Frame Kit is bolted in place. It acts as the base for the kit as well as the lower shock mounts.
An angle grinder with a cutting disc is used to gently cut through the weld holding the stock bump stop mount. The mount is removed.
The front legs of the cage separate at the bed floor, but mount to the front leaf spring mount and to one of the bed mounts. That means a hole must be cut into the bed. Using the strut as a guide, the area is marked and cut using a hole saw.
The rear mounts of the cage also require a hole to be cut into the bed, but they mount to the frame. With the front legs of the cage bolted in place, the rear mount holes are marked.
A pneumatic saw is used to cut through the bed.
Using the hole cut for the driver’s side as a template, the hole where the shock will go through the bed is transferred to the passenger side.
The hole is cut using a variety of holes. Know that this is not a one size fits all type of thing. This hole fit the Fox shocks, but shocks such as King’s would require a larger hole.
The ReadyLIFT Off Road Suspension Bolt-On Hydraulic Air Bump Stop Frame Kit (whew!) bolts to the frame and even has a recess so it fits over the cage’s downtube mount so it fits flush with the frame. Know that a little cutting to the bed is required.
A Fox 2.0 Off Road Series Nitrogen Gas Bump Stop is installed into the ReadyLIFT mount.
The 2.5 Fox triple bypass shocks are installed. The lower mount is installed first. Know that it does a little effort to compress the Fox units to fit into the upper.
In only a day, this ReadyLIFT equipped Chevy now has double the wheel travel of stock and thanks to the Fox shocks, that travel can be tuned to perfection. More on that later.